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Manufacturing New Business with the Internet of Everything

Manufacturing ArmIn a recent article for Manufacturing Digital, “Cisco highlights Internet of Everything potential in 2014,” the manufacturing industry has been touted as a one of the top sectors benefitting from the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Internet of Things (IoT) trends. Along these lines, I recently discussed the transformative power of IoT in manufacturing in a blog on this Cisco IoE blog, Making Smarter Manufacturing and IoT a Reality Today.  It’s becoming apparent to me that the propensity of leading analyst and press coverage around these topics is evolving beyond far-off visioning or thought-provoking industry trend discussions into the practical exchange of ideas and experiences around real-life scenarios and applications for the production environment, supply chain, voice of customer (VoC) and all the critical business interests of a typical manufacturer. Manufacturing is leading a charge to create the next generation of real-time, connected and smart factories, integrated supply chains, in-context collaboration and work flows for global design teams and more, and IoE is a critical building block for the transformation of these business processes to excite greater revenues and profitability. Read More »

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Machine Builders in my Factory?

As you know there are many changes in manufacturing operations today. These certainly relate to Operations Excellence, Continuous Innovation, Energy Management, even the Supply Chain and Customer Service world. There are technology changes and personnel changes. There are Global impacts as manufacturing companies compete in new regions and those same new regions sprout new manufacturers. And at the end of the day (or maybe the beginning?) there is a need for someone to build a specialized machine.

We have already seen the power of a converged (technologically) network. Ethernet/IP helps the controls world provide information to the IT world. We see this every day, where older proprietary networks are replaced by standard Ethernet. Here are some thoughts as they relate to specialized machine builders:

So, we have this technology that can unify us, Ethernet. Who knew that years ago I sold against Ethernet? But that was a different version. Today is new, with managed switches, managed services, and tomorrow is your new today.

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Converging on Convergence, Part Two

We recently co-hosted a Voice of the Customer (VoC) event where we had several End User manufacturing customers as well as Machine Builders and Systems Integrators present. My new series on Machine Builders will start next week, but I wanted to capture a few thoughts and ask for opinions.

We’ve been working along on an assumption that many End User manufacturing customers are reducing their engineering staff and working under cost pressures as well as time pressure. We presumed that they are relegating or subcontracting a lot of the work that would typically be done in house back to machine builders or systems integrators. This clearly has impact on the business model of a machine builder, considering up front design, integration, installation, support and retrofitting. Read More »

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